It’s a matter of space and time

4th Dimension

No I’m not going on about relativity or quantum physics, not even about Star Trek or Doctor Who. What I’m referring to is one of the first things a conference organiser must  consider when deliberating over webcasting their event is the question;

“Will it be ‘live’… or ‘on demand’… or both?”

The correct answer depends on the nature of the event and the objectives for considering webcasting in the first place.
So, it’s a matter of space and time? Well yes; first of all consider Space.

SPACE

Live web broadcasting a conference is a way to take your (or your clients) message and deliver it to an audience beyond the four walls of the conference venue. For the remote viewer the experience is the next best thing to ‘being there’ and clearly they get to see and hear the event at exactly the same time as the audience in the room.

TIME

Recording and making the conference available as an ‘on demand’ web broadcast is a way to maximise the value of the content by allowing a wider audience to access and benefit from the content over an extended period of time.

Below is a 5 minute diversion from the world of webcasting, to a Doctor Who take on the subject of space and time from this year’s Red Nose Day.

Recovering Waste

recycling bin

Time was that if you suggested someone had ‘recycled’ a presentation you might be seen to be suggesting plagiarism or laziness. But in this contemporary world where reducing cost and increasing sustainability are so important, recycling presentations by recording and publishing makes sense.

On the BeThere Global homepage We talk about “Unlocking the full value”, but really what we do goes further than that; it is also about “recovering waste”. Clearly not the stuff of landfill sites, but waste none the less. The kind of waste that sees an organisation expend many man hours and sometimes large amounts of hard earned cash on external resources to create a presentation around their expertise that will only ever be performed once, to a single audience limited in size by the number of seats in the room. In most cases all that will exist afterwards will be a Word document containing the speaker notes or script and the PowerPoint slides (or whatever presentation aids are used).

Now in any other marketing application – and surely all speeches or presentations in the commercial, public sector, medical and educational worlds are to varying degrees an exercise in marketing – the organisation investing in the activity would want to see ways to improve their return on investment through repeat use, adaptation and extension. Why should presentations be any different? Smart organisations are realising that recycling a presentation by recording and publishing on the web as a – choose your terminology – video stream, webcast, web broadcast, webinar or on demand archive is a valuable investment in knowledge and expertise that can have long term value in many different and sometimes unexpected ways.

This subject is particularly relevant right now as BeThere Global are sponsoring the Sustainable Events Summit 2011 taking place in London on 13 June. As well as recycling (recording and webcasting) the sessions we will also be facilitating a round table discussion on how web casting and social media can help the sustainable agenda.

Check out the Sustainable Events Summit 2011 website.

The importance of taking the trouble to say ‘thank you’

Card with two words "thank you&quot

This afternoon I received a letter! Yes a letter… okay it arrived as an email attachment but it was in the form of a letter – formally laid out, logo, senders address and so on and with a real signature. And no it wasn’t demanding money or telling me that something was going to be more expensive in the future. It was out and out good news; a genuine and heartfelt thank you from a client but in good old fashioned letter-stylie.

Now at BeThere Global we like to think we will always ‘go the extra mile’, delight our clients and do all those other good things any company worth its salt is meant to do. But receiving a missive like this will certainly help make sure we carry on doing that good stuff with increased enthusiasm for this client in particular . So, for our client, it should easily be worth the investment in time it took to write. But it’s also given me a lift at the start of the working week and will certainly be something the Technician who operated on the project (and to whom most of the positivity was directed) will be delighted to receive and keep as an endorsement of his skills and affable nature.

The only slight downside for us commercially is this particular client is Executive Director of a charity and doesn’t want comments attributed to them as they have issues, as a charity, with any kind of perceived commercial affiliations.

So let me shamelessly include a few unattributed excerpts from the letter…

We really appreciate your ongoing work to provide high-quality recordings of our events, as these are proving to be an increasingly popular and utilised resource on our website. Your dedication, flexibility and efficiency have really helped in being able to bring these recordings to our members and post-event delegates at such meetings.

And…

Having 60 sessions recorded from the meeting is a fantastic achievement, and we hope to have them up online fully this week, which is also a good turn-around from our perspective.

And…

We really appreciate all your help with getting things ready for the event, and for all your assistance, recommendations, excellent service and professionalism.

I  have now set myself the target to try and remember to take trouble to say thank you properly in the future; this has been a much needed reminder of how effective it can be!

A little thing that makes a big difference

Forklift

It’s part of daily life for us to be uploading heavy files up to the web. Anything from a 200MB flash video recording of a speech to high definition corporate videos weighing in at a few gigabytes. Not so long ago files of this size would have necessitated physical delivery on a disk or remote drive. For over five years now we’ve been moving this type of file around effortlessly, and in the spirit of sharing a ‘good thing’ I thought the service we’ve been using worthy of a plug here.

That service is called YouSendIt. To date the facilities they provide have been faultless and highly efficient. A number of innovative applications make it readily usable from a number of common software packages and the ability to add branding (paid version) gives the interface a polished and professional look.

My favourite bit is the YouSendIt Express desktop application. Using this, if you lose your Internet connection or have to shut down for some reason, when you connect again the upload will resume from the point of interruption – a great usability bonus!

YouSendIt logo

We tried a few other services before settling on this one, but none of them we found matched up to the all round quality that YouSendIt provides.

Thank you YouSendIt!

[BeThere Global Limited has no commercial interest or connection with YouSendIt – save for paying our monthly subscription that is!]

Why weight – the perils of excess baggage

A word of advice for anyone planning to fly with excess baggage; be very careful which airline you choose!

In travelling around with our equipment, however portable it might be, there are often times when the question of excess baggage is raised; increasingly so as airlines tighten their belts.

We learnt through bitter experience a year or so back that the wrong choice of airline can make a difference of thousands of pounds to the cost of getting to and from the required destination.

We nearly succumbed to the same trap again this last week when booking flights for our technician to get out to Macau, China to record ISUOG’s (The International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology – rarely is an acronym so sorely needed!) 7th International Scientific Meeting which takes place at the end of this month.

Initially we booked with Cathay Pacific who seemed to be offering a good deal and the right flight times. Upon further inspection however it turned out that the excess baggage charges over and above the one checked bag allowed, would be $60 per kilo per leg; $120 for the round trip. Even for the modest single extra 20Kg bag we were planning this amounted to an eye-watering $2,400! More than four times the original ticket price!

Fortunately we saw the light in time (i.e. re read the small print on the Cathay Pacific website) and re booked on a Virgin flight for a similar ticket price but where an extra bag costs $48 each way; a saiving of $2304 on the round trip! (British Airways have a similar charging structure to Virgin.)

Why can’t all airlines be as sensible as Virgin and BA… at least as regards excess bagage?

BeThere Global for event producers and organisers

April 2011 calendar

Another initiative this year is the launch of a series of seminars and networking events for organisations interested in the BeThere Global service but who want to find out more about it at first hand and understand how they can successfully market the service to their clients.

The first in the series is designed specifically for event production agencies and professional conference organisers and will take place at a central London venue in April.

We will be sending out more information in a few weeks time, but let us know now if you are interested and we’ll make sure your among the first to know.

What have Honolulu and Stockholm got in common?

BeThere have Been There!

In its first full year BeThere Global recorded and web broadcast over 100 conferences and events in locations as diverse as Honolulu and Stockholm, for clients operating in many varied sectors; including medical, construction, financial, technology and sustainability – to name but five.

And this month we are off to Macau!

BeThere Global… going Global one step at a time

With bases on both sides of the Atlantic from the start, BeThere Global is quite an unusual company. While our equipment is extremely portable and our operators regularly fly the world to webcast conferences, it has always been our intention to improve our offer to the global market by building relationships with agents and operators in countries other than the UK and USA. Not that we have any megalomaniacal desire for ‘world domination’; it’s just a wish to reduce the travel and shipping costs for our customers at the same time as building a more sustainable operation.
We are now delighted to announce our first foothold in continental Europe with the appointment of Northern Equity Partners, based in Copenhagen, as Sales Agents operating in Scandinavia and Germany.

Northern Equity Partners is run by Mick Jelsdal Jørgensen and Sebastian Schröder.

“When we first got in touch with BeThere Global we were fascinated by the concept of the company and its ability to capture and share knowledge.”

said Sebastian.

Both he and Mick saw a great opportunity to become a part of the team and build a BeThere Global division in Germany and Scandinavia.

“There is no doubt that it is a great opportunity to put years of academic training into practice. BeThere is able to record and broadcast any conference, anytime, anywhere in the world but our real strength is the personal relationships we have with our customers. We want to build on these relationships in Scandinavia and Germany.”

Mick was born and raised in Copenhagen and has a background in the financial sector. He holds a BSc in Business Administration from Roskilde University and is currently taking his MSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development at Copenhagen Business School.
Born in Berlin, Sebastian holds a BSc in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Passau in Germany and will graduate with an MSc from Copenhagen Business School this summer. His previous work experience includes movie production and financial services. Said Schröder…

“Our dream is to expand the business but keep the entrepreneurial spirit and high-level of innovation alive.”

Unlock the full value of your live event or presentation

Unlock the full value of your live event or presentation was chosen as our headline for the new homepage, because we enable our clients to get greater value from the time effort and resources they put into creating their conferences; value that would otherwise be largely lost the moment the event closes.

In some cases, a much larger and wider audience than can physically attend a conference have benefited from remotely accessing the content via a web broadcast – without the cost or inconvenience of travel. In others we have generated new revenue streams for clients who are now selling access to their recordings.
get a quote,
Our new website has a much sharper focus on the benefits our service brings to conference producers and organisers and through our “Get a quote” page provides an easy way for anyone considering recording and web broadcasting an event to get a realistic estimate as to the costs involved.

We are planning to add many “how to” articles, videos and of course webcasts in the coming months, which will further help organisations understand how to make the most of this now highly affordable and accessible technology.

The people did not believe it was live

The question of whether an event should be webcast live or on-demand is often raised. In many cases the merits of ‘live’ are outweighed by the comfort of being sure all is as everyone concerned would like it to be before uploading.

This month we delivered a live webcast for Stryker, a global leader in medical technology, through our friends Jigzaw Live Event Solutions, where the client was adamant it had to be live. So live it was!

Steve MacMillan, the CEO and President of the Company, was touring Stryker offices around the globe, but physically couldn’t get everywhere. It was decided therefore that some of the European offices would log into a live web cast of his presentation at the UK headquarters in Newbury, England.

All went well and we were delighted to receive an email from a Senior Manager in the Stryker European IT function based at one of the receiving countries stating;

“The people did not believe it was live. There was no delay and it was well synched with motion and sound. There was even no fading with rapid hand movements. All together, it was a big success. Also the bandwidth graphs looked well.”

The fact is, when it really does have to be live, it is great to be operating a system that can deliver the goods at bandwidths that won’t negatively affect the client’s network. The whole purpose of BeThere is to make web casting easy and accessible; be it live or otherwise. For Stryker that is exactly what we did.